AIM: To examine hospitalization rates for variceal hemorrhage and relation to cause of cirrhosis during an era of increased cirrhosis prevalence. METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of patients with cirrhosis and gastroesophageal variceal hemorrhage who were admitted to a tertiary care referral center from 1998 to 2009. Subjects were classified according to the etiology of their liver disease: alcoholic cirrhosis and non-alcoholic cirrhosis. Rates of hospitalization for variceal bleeding were determined. Data were also collected on total hospital admissions per year and cirrhosis-related admissions per year over the same time period. These data were then compared and analyzed for trends in admission rates. RESULTS: Hospitalizations for cirrhosis significantly increased from 611 per 100000 admissions in 1998-2001 to 1232 per 100000 admissions in 2006-9 (P value for trend < 0.0001). This increase was seen in admissions for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cirrhosis (P values for trend < 0.001 and < 0.0001 respectively). During the same time period, there were 243 admissions for gastroesophageal variceal bleeding (68% male, mean age 54.3 years, 62% alcoholic cirrhosis). Hospitalizations for gastroesophageal variceal bleeding significantly decreased from 96.6 per 100000 admissions for the time period 1998-2001 to 70.6 per 100000 admissions for the time period 2006-2009 (P value for trend = 0.01). There were significant reductions in variceal hemorrhage from non-alcoholic cirrhosis (41.6 per 100000 admissions in 1998-2001 to 19.7 per 100000 admissions in 2006-2009, P value for trend = 0.007). CONCLUSION: Hospitalizations for variceal hemorrhage have decreased, most notably in patients with non-alcoholic cirrhosis, and this may reflect broader use of strategies to prevent bleeding.
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Portal hypertension